In our previous article (link), we detailed the importance of running proper caps and using sealants on a manufactured stone veneer installation in Denver because of the dangers posed by the freeze/thaw cycle here.
Anywhere running water or snow accumulation holds the potential to attack even a natural stone veneer installation, the use of a silane based sealant is a terrific idea and shouldn’t even be considered optional.Many natural stone veneer manufacturers state that their products don’t require a sealant, in part because the actual stone used in many of these products is fairly impenetrable by lashing rains. The service life demands made on natural stone veneer in Denver are more challenging. Every stone, no matter its composition, is microscopically porous to one degree or other. A natural stone veneer installation in Colorado’s freeze/thaw climate could always use the assistance of a penetrating water sealant to keep looking its best for decades.
A high quality silane based water sealant creates hydrophobic and oleophobic surface conditions. This protection penetrates the stone, causing it to resist permeation by both water and oils, from say leaf breakdown and bird droppings.
More importantly from our Denver based perspective, the use of a silane based water sealant protects natural stone veneer installations from surface spalling of the rock faces themselves and protects any grout layer, if installed. On the molecular level, water can seep into the tiniest imperfections of the natural stone and then expand as it freezes. As all natural stones contain inherent fracture lines within them, a sealant can protect against ice causing such expansion fractures, or spalling.
So, even if a manufacturer won’t recommend the use of a silane based sealant, we will, because we live somewhere it is really needed. For more information on this topic, contact ProCoat Systems of Denver today.